Once a vast sheep grazing allotment spanning the upper watersheds of Cache and Weber Counties, Powder Mountain opened as a ski area in 1972. The resort now operates on more than 8400 acres ranking among the largest in North America. Powder Mountain offers lift-served access, single ride and guided full day snowcat tours as well as inbounds and backcountry guided ski and skin tours all within the private property boundaries. Powder Mountain was the first resort to allow snowboarding and maintains its retro image offering such amenities as the Powder Country bus, no artificial snow and powder stashes specifically managed for human-powered uphill travel.
Where untracked snow and increasing visitor-numbers intersect, the potential for avalanche incidents increases. Over the last several years Powder Mountain has invested resources in upgrading dispatching, avalanche forecasting, active and passive mitigation programs and general avalanche awareness for the resort community. The Patrol and Snow Safety Departments oversee all aspects of mountain safety with responsibility for protecting life and property within the resort including our expanding Village community, homeowner associations and condominium owners and guests. Operating under the umbrella of the Utah Department of Transportation, Powder Mountain Snow Safety has assumed responsibility for avalanche forecasting, mitigation, and rescue for Utah State Route 158. Hence the avalanche program at Powder Mountains spans the array of responsibility for backcountry, in bounds and highway avalanche forecasting, protection and rescue.
Coincident with the expanding responsibility and expertise in the Patrol and Snow Safety Departments has been the evolution of the avalanche rescue dog program. First started by an individual volunteer, the primary goal has always been to strengthen our connection with the Weber County Sheriff and to become a certified member of Wasatch Backcountry Rescue. Those goals were achieved during the winter of 2014- 2015 when our first two dogs passed WBR validations. Today our avalanche search dog program is composed of five dogs spanning the full spectrum of Levels A, B and C and an emerging cadre of primary and secondary handlers, all full-time professional patrollers.
Powder Mountain Patrol and Snow Safety Departments look to the future with optimism and are proud to be the newest members of WBR and to expand WBR north into the mountains and pastures of Weber and Cache Counties.